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Album Review
17th Century Disco Horse EP

17th Century Disco Horse EP
by The Shocking and Stunning


Review Date
24th September 2012
Reviewed by
Ricardo Kerr

Ambitious Wellington duo The Shocking And Stunning are primed and ready to explode in a crescendo of sparks and brightly-coloured fog. Their latest EP, brilliantly titled 17th Century Disco Horse, is a trippy thrill ride. From the very first second of opening song 'Zombie Fucker' you can practically hear the cosmic whirlpool opening wide and swallowing you whole. Once you embark on this voyage you will not emerge from for another 24 minutes.

The pair create an instrumental post-rock of sorts; not the sort of beard-stroking musings often under that label, but rather something that is so far divorced from “rock” music that you have no other choice but to call it that. The loose, expressive percussion, the pulsating bass than cuts right through you, those gorgeous rolling synth waves. This music designed is to be more felt than heard - hypnotic on a primal level, interfacing directly with your lizard brain and drawing you in deeper to their sound.

17th Century Disco Horse consists of four tracks, including the brief but energetic 'We Hunger' and the epic finale 'A Terrible Thirst'. There is not a dull moment to be found among the drone, the loops, and the effects. This is the soundtrack to piles of smoldering computer equipment, sparking and buzzing away in the afternoon sun. The band wield feedback with the same fervor that your local teenage garage band strums a guitar and it is an effective weapon indeed. Part rock, part electronica, all bizarre.

Keeping things to a duo – with one half playing electric instruments and the other playing organic ones – creates a deadly yin-yang effect where neither fully dominates but actually compliments the other beautifully. Sometimes one will pull further in front of the other (the drums on 'Ghosts' or the keys in 'Zombie Fucker') but they are never competing for your attention. You simply have to be amazed at how much has been done with so little. The band are just two people and the total number of instruments used in the creation of this EP cannot be many. But in spite of these factors the end results are indeed shocking and stunning.


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